United States: 1834-1935. The collection includes 83 food and associated commodities price lists, catalogs, ledgers, invoices, postal card advertisements and more. It spans a 100 year period and provides considerable information regarding the availability, distribution, price and pricing consideration of these commodities. The materials represent 40 different American markets, with heavy weight on New York, Boston and Philadelphia in the earlier years. The collection includes both retail and wholesale information. Approximately 60% of the materials are pre 1890.
The journey begins with a 1834 printed list of Ship Stores put up by Hampton and Coffin in New York, including available provisions for both the Ships Stores and Cabin Stores. This is followed by a ledger from a merchant in Sea brook New Hampshire detailing his sales for 1854-1855. By 1861 the printed Commission Market/Exchange reports with reports from Albany, NY, Boston, MA, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, San Francisco, CA and Washington DC were appearing consistently over the course of the next 30 plus years and included information on previous period sales, expected prices and information on availability and likelihood of price fluctuation. Commodities by exchange varied significantly and although called and Egg and Butter Exchange one many find Beans, Butter, Cheese, Eggs, and Meats or such things as Includes Ginseng, Snake Root, Butter, Beeswax, Flax, Dried Fruit Eggs, Rags, etc. Of note - fur skin from house cat. Includes envelope to customer in Tennessee. Also included are catalogues from variations on a single food to one catalogue from Retail Price List Cob, Bates & Your Importers and Grocers with 56 pp. and hundreds of categories.
The collection includes 27 specialty pieces with price lists for Baker, Confection, Biscuits, Butter Color, Canned Goods and Pickles, Confectioner, Country Produce, Eggs, Fish, Fruits, Honey, Jams and Marmalade, Canned Tomatoes and Nuts, Jellies, Kara Corn Syrup, Liquors, Meat, Meats & more, Salted, Pickled & Smoked Fish, Ship Stores and Cabin Stores, Syrup, Tea and Coffee, Tobacco, Liquor, Groceries Liquor and Preserves & Canned Goods.
The Butter Color headline reads "How to Increase the Value of Butter". A comprehensive overview of all things Perfected Butter Color. The reverse has the Golden Rules for making gilt-edged butter and The Best System of Setting Milk.
Gordon & Dilworth Table Delicacies boasts "More than one hundred Domestic & Foreign Fruits and Vegetables transmuted into Table Delicacies. All of our Productions bear this (displayed) Trade-March Label. We will prosecute all Infringements of the same."
As the years progress more and more retail materials appear including weekly flyers with "Specials" . An interesting tidbit in the 1911 California Fruit Product Company - Direct from California introductions and information on the Dakota Car leaving on Nov. 5th for distribution in Dakota.
Another interesting marketing approach was the use of printed price lists on Postal Cards presumably sent to regular customers.
The journey ends in the 1930s a large format broadside type list with an image from a photograph of The Tower home Welfare SA. Genoa Colorado. selling a variety of foods, household products, sundries, school supplies and tobacco. It indicates it is providing candy, nuts and oranges at Christmas time for the children of Lincoln County to be sure none goes without. In researching this location it can only be found as a roadside attraction with no mention of groceries.
This is the tip of the iceberg of information available in this collection. A link to the collection database is available upon request and can also be linked through our Catalogue at the lower right corner of our booth. Overall very good; few rough edges.